Russia has delivered 800 tons of wheat flour to North Korea, the second of two shipments of food aid in the last month, the Russian embassy in North Korea reported on Monday.
This is the second shipment of Russian food aid to the DPRK as part of Russia’s contributions to the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) in a month, though it is not clear when a previously promised delivery of 2700 tons will arrive.
According to the Russian embassy’s announcement on its Facebook page, a Russian vessel departed from Nakhodka and arrived in Chongjin, the capital of North Korea’s North Hamgyong Province.
The wheat flour will be sent to Ryanggang and Kangwon provinces and used to produce a vitaminized mixture of cereals and biscuits.
Sven Thelin, Acting Director of the World Food Program (WFP) in the DPRK, thanked the Russian embassy for its contributions to the WFP’s long-term projects in North Korea.
The “Nutrition Support for Children and Women and Strengthening Community Capacity to Reduce Disaster Risks” in North Korea is a five-year project for 2017 to 2021, supporting the first strategic priority – food and nutrition security – of the United Nations Strategic Framework for North Korea.
Russia is one of the largest donors to the WFP’s North Korea program, though Switzerland has in both 2015 and 2016 provided more aid, often in the form of powdered milk shipments to the DPRK.
A report on the DPRK from the WFP in June 2017 stated that a major challenge is “funding constraints,” adding that “it is essential for WFP’s DPRK operation to have consistent commitment from its donors.”
The report also reported that “the current localized drought condition has affected agricultural production in four provinces and one city.”
According to an alert issued by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on July 20, North Korea’s crop production for 2017 has been severely damaged by the worst drought to hit the country since 2001.
North Korean media on Tuesday claimed that the country had overcome the drought, however, with an article in ruling party organ the Rodong Sinmun claiming victory in a “life-and-death war” against drought.
The North Korean government recently decreased food rations by 100 grams per day per person, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) last Monday, “well below” the North’s stated target of 573 grams per day per person and, at 300 grams, only 50 percent of the UN-recommended amount of 600 grams a day.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: Russian Embassy in the DPRK, Facebook page on 2017-07-31
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